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Submission + - New Rechargeable Battery Uses Water (

fergus07 writes: Scientists at Stanford have developed a battery that uses nanotechnology to create electricity from the difference in salt content between fresh water and sea water. The researchers hope to use the technology to create power plants where fresh-water rivers flow into the ocean. The new "mixing entropy" battery alternately immerses its electrodes in river water and sea water to produce the electrical power.

Submission + - African Villages Glow with Renewable Energy

Peace Corps Online writes: "Elisabeth Rosenthal writes that as small-scale renewable energy becomes cheaper, more reliable and more efficient, it is providing the first drops of modern power to people who live far from slow-growing electricity grids and fuel pipelines in developing countries playing an epic, transformative role. With the advent of cheap solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights, which can light a room with just 4 watts of power instead of 60, these small solar systems now deliver useful electricity at a price that even the poor can afford. "You're seeing herders in Inner Mongolia with solar cells on top of their yurts," says energy adviser Dana Younger. In addition to small solar projects, renewable energy technologies designed for the poor include simple subterranean biogas chambers that make fuel and electricity from the manure of a few cows, and “mini” hydroelectric dams that can harness the power of a local river for an entire village. "It’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the world; a huge number of these systems are being installed," says Younger."

Submission + - Free Wi-Fi for the Residents of Venice, Italy 1

pmontra writes: The City of Venice, Italy, started to offer free Wi-Fi to residents (Google translation from the Italian source) on July 3 2009. Tourists and other visitors will pay 5 Euros a day for the service starting from September. The hot spots are connected to a ten thousand kilometers (6.250 miles) fiber optic LAN the City started deploying in the '90s. The first day of free Internet access has been celebrated with a digital treasure hunt in the channels of the lagoon city.

Feed The Register: Rebranding the RIAA (

Lobby group gets the Strategy Boutique treatment

Competition Results Last week, we reported the possibility that the lobby group that represents America's sound recording owners (RIAA) might merge with the global sound recording owners lobby group (IFPI). This raised the awful possibility that the Recording Industry Ass. of America would disappear - making all those "Boycott the RIAA"-type domains useless. Zut alors!

Feed Engadget: Apple patents a Maxiumus-alike keyboard, iMac MacBook dock (

Filed under: Desktops, Laptops, Peripherals

Apple's always enjoyed patenting the near-absurd, just to get us speculating in the wrong direction or to give its thousands of patent lawyers something to do during a slow design cycle. We can't really imagine Apple has this pair of "products" prepped and waiting in the wings of Macworld, but it's still fun to look. First off we have a MacBook dock that conveniently looks just like an iMac. Not much explanation is needed, you just slide the laptop into the side of the iMac and start desktoping away on the big screen. The second patent deals with a quite familiar keyboard concept: OLED screens in every key. It's not the first time an Apple patent has overlapped with a Lebedev design, but who knows how it'll go down if Apple tries to build one of these Lebedev-ish ideas -- Apple patented this keyboard concept about a year after the Maxiumus concept was first shown off.

Read - iMac MacBook dock
Read - Apple Maxiumus

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Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.